ARTISAN: Habibou Coulibaly Discover the art of mudcloth with with Stacy Spivak, buyer for Ten Thousand Villages
As I roam West Africa, it’s easy to imagine the hunters of older times scouring the savannah for game. In my mind, they are draped in fabrics to mask their scent from the wildlife they seek. These fabrics are known as bogolan, or "mudcloth." Having developed through the ages, mudcloth coverings eventually incorporated intricate designs and patterns unique to the region. Each pattern is symbolic. Whether it represents a jealous lover, a bountiful harvest year or marks a major life transition, there’s a story told in every line and curve.
Like so many indigenous crafting techniques, the process of mudcloth dyeing is passed down from generation to generation. Habibou Coulibaly learned from his grandmother and then perfected his technique by studying in the neighboring country of Mali, where mudcloth art originated.
The fullness and depth of the color saturation is achieved through a process of placing aged mud over natural dyes derived from leaves of the sigamore tree or indigo, depending on the hue and seasonal availability. Stencils are made for the repeating patterns, but no two are exactly alike.
- Approximately 104Lx56W inches
- Made in Burkina Faso
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